For Benjamin Leff, a rising junior at Byram Hills High School, it was the trip of a lifetime.
Leff was part of the United States' junior gold medal winning basketball team at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, an athletic event featuring Jewish athletes. Leff was on a team made up of players from throughout the country.
The team went 6-0, defeating Argentina 63-33 to win the gold.
"It was a great experience," Leff said. "It is something I will never forget. I got to meet new people from all over the world."
Leff had previously participated in the regional Maccabiah Games in Stamford and was invited to a tryout in Philadelphia. He said he was very excited when he got the call that he made the team and would represent his country.
"It really awesome to have USA across my chest," Leff said.
Having never been to Israel before, Leff said he enjoyed getting to tour the country and see attractions like the Masada, the Wailing Wall, and the Dead Sea.
Leff said he enjoyed meeting other basketball players from other countries and getting their perspective on how they play basketball. He said he is planning to stay in touch with people he met from places like Argentina and Israel.
At Byram Hills, Leff is coming off a 21-1 season. A power forward, he said his strengths include finishing around the rim and midway shooting. After battling an ankle injury his sophomore year, Leff is hoping he can make his mark next season.
"My goal is to play college basketball," Leff said.
Leff said he has visited a few Ivy League schools and has been contacted by several Division III schools.
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